web

Putting WordPress into Hyperdrive

2 minute read Updated

Prepare for Ludicrous Speed with a 300% improvement in page load time.

After giving a talk at WordCamp Ubud 2017 – where I showed how to use a $5 Vultr box and Redis with Load Impact to support up to 7000 concurrent WordPress users – I was asked to help turn some of the performance optimization work demoed into a WordPress plug-in.

It’s the first of it’s kind — and like no other performance plugin to precede it. Based on initial tests it speeds up the stock Twenty Seventeen theme about 300% and I suspect time will show even greater gains for other themes. It builds on top of a performance optimization technique called Fetch Injection, enabling external scripts to download asynchronously in parallel while preserving execution order.

After Dark

Hugo Dark Theme Website Generator

:: Node / Vue / ES6 / Fuse / Docker / CSS3 / Bash

Click image to browse After Dark documentation.

After fighting with WordPress on my personal blog for 5 years starting back in 2008 I like many others switched over to static. With Jekyll as my generator I found a lot to love over the years. After 3 years and an increasing amount of content I became familiar with Jekyll’s speed and scaling issues and ended up resorting to workarounds to avoid them, hurting my publishing cadence in the process.

Dissatisfied with Jekyll and after considerable product analysis I eventually discovered Hugo. Before switching I performed a multi-year experiment with Hugo before deciding to jump ship for good. After Dark was the result.

Surfing the Uncensorable Web

10 minute read Enclosure Published

Testing the waters of ZeroNet to enjoy a Web without information gatekeepers.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you already know the guy behind WikiLeaks, who was living at an Ecuadorian embassy in London, was recently arrested and now facing extradition to the United States – the country I’m originally from – and the country which forces tax payers to fund the second-largest stockpile of nuclear weaponry ever created.

But perhaps you didn’t know that WikiLeaks was at one point hosted by Amazon. Yep, right up until political pressure caused them to take it down. Afterall, nothing says freedom like a fear of misbehavior in a country with the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. I suppose Julian Assange’s situation could be worse… Maybe, had he also been practicing Falun Gong in China. But I digress. And there’s no telling what’s going to happen.

DarkDuckGo

2 minute read Published

Improve your search privacy on DuckDuckGo using custom URL parameters.

I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine since it was introduced to me by a colleague in Chicago. This was before I was able to close my Google account but some time after losing hundreds of photos leaving Facebook. And though I was aware DuckDuckGo maintains a hidden service for Tor users it wasn’t until recently I felt confident enough with my OS security to safely use it.

Rather than just bookmarking and using the DDG onion site, however, I decided to leverage some of the nifty URL params they’ve made available. Following is a quick rundown of the URL params I’m using to customize my DDG search experience for use with Tor. In After Dark fashion I’ve decided to name them “DarkDuckGo”.

The Web We Have to Save

3 minute read Published

Regarding Sir Tim-Berners Lee's article on saving the Web

In March of 2017 Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web posted a short article on The Guardian covering three things we need to do to save the Web.

To paraphrase, they are:

  • Increase individual control over sharing of personal data
  • Improve diversity in Social media and Search channels
  • Create more transparency behind political advertising

The third of which is, in my opinion, really just an extension of the second, so let’s briefly cover the first two and what you can do as individuals to address Tim’s concerns right now. When you’re finished, you’ll have a deeper understanding of how to protect your privacy online.

Telltale Signs Your React App Isn't SEO Friendly

3 minute read Published

Is Your React App Invisible to Google? Here's how to find out.

As you may or may not be aware NPM and React have caused a Cambrian explosion in the number of Awesome React Boilerplates out there. But did you know many of those boilerplates and the web apps that build upon them aren’t SEO friendly, and possibly even invisible to Google? Sites experiencing SEO issues are more likely to be buried deeper in Search results and unlikely to see the Organic traffic they’d otherwise enjoy sans marketing efforts.

In this post we’ll explore some of the telltale signs your React app isn’t SEO friendly and what you can do about it.

Host Websites in the Cloud in 10 Minutes

4 minute read Updated

How to use EC2 to host a website in the Amazon cloud

Hosting companies Bluehost and Dreamhost offer simple, one-click installation of popular blogging platforms like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. The affordable hosting plans offered are low-cost, but you tend to get what you pay for: shoddy up-time and slow server responses.

What would our hero Mario do about this? I’m thinking he’d Tanooki suit up, make a mad dash and fly to the first cloud he found. And that’s what this post is all about. Read on to learn how to host a website in the cloud in 10 minutes. It may not be as simple as 1-click hosting, but it’ll almost certainly be faster. And you’ll earn some geek cred for doing something complicated to do something simple.

The Slack Stack

1 minute read Published

The magic of Slack's development stack revealed on StackShare.

Since the day I started using Slack at my last company I marveled at the composition of the application and how it ran both on Web and native desktop environments using a native wrapper around Web. I spent a little time trying to reverse-engineer the stack to understand what it was building on top of, deducing only it wasn’t using NW.js. So, what then? I queried colleagues and Twitterverse only to come up empty-handed…

The Holy Grail: Full-stack JavaScript MVC with Rendr

1 minute read Published

The quest for the Holy Grail of JavaScript revealed by Airbnb Engineering.

Spike at Airbnb just mentioned during a live TechTalk webcast that the Rendr framework they built was open sourced earlier this month: github.com/airbnb/rendr. The framework leverages Node.js and Backbone.js to allow full-stack JavaScript MVC using a common set of code–greatly improving time to content, improving crawability, and reduces overall application complexity.

During the talk, Meteor and Derby were mentioned, and Mojito *sigh*. And Stitch was also mentioned, as a part of the stack they’re using. So anyway, there you have it. The Holy Grail I talked about. It’s out, but admittedly, according to Spike, not quite finished. Caveat emptor.